Hi Erin, Welcome to the Hobby Hoedown. I think readers will understand why you feel so passionate about your hobby, running. Please share with us how you found this hobby.
Hello, JQ! Thank you so much for having me on Hobby Hoedown to talk about my passion/hobby—running!
As a child, I played many sports. My poor mother ran from practice to practice during the week and game to game on the weekend. At the age of 14, I developed a chronic knee problem. The pain became so bad I eventually had to stop playing all sports. I walked around with huge knee braces and crutches for several months. My dream of becoming the next Mia Hamm died.
A few years ago, my friends and I were hanging out and talking about our dreams. Most of our dreams appeared quite unattainable, but one friend said she wanted to become a runner. We all jumped on the bandwagon, encouraging her to pursue and fulfill this reachable goal. Another friend mentioned the Couch to 5k program, so I Googled it when I got home. The website claimed even people with bad knees and asthma (both of which I have) could successfully complete Couch to 5k. I sent the link to the runner dream friend and told her I would do the program with her. She wrote back saying the timing didn’t work out for her. Curious about the program, I decided to give it a go myself.
After my first day of training, I told my soul sister, Dawn, about my experience. Neither my knees nor asthma gave me trouble. Encouraged (she also suffers from knee trouble and asthma), she agreed to do the program with me and became my running partner. We followed the Couch to 5k plan for the full nine week course. My knees and lungs grew stronger. After years of sitting on the sidelines, I could finally run again, and I loved it!
Let me show you a pretty picture of us before
I show you ones where we are all sweaty! LOL!
To celebrate my birthday, which coincided with the completion of the program, Dawn and I entered our first 5k. We went on to enter more and loved the experience of training and preparing for races. One day, we turned to one another and said, “If we can be runners, anyone can!” We advertised a free Couch to 5k class through a local website, unsure whether or not we would get interest. On the first day of class, twenty-five people showed up. We love sharing the joy of running with others and now offer Couch to 5k classes every spring and fall. Seeing our students transform into full-on runners brings us immeasurable joy.
Finishing one of our 5ks / Excited for our students completing their first 5k
After running several 5ks, Dawn and I decided to try for a 10k then a half marathon, but unfortunately, Dawn developed terrible heel pain. She went to the doctor and discovered she had plantar fasciitis. Like the true sole sister she is, Dawn encouraged me to continue training while she worked toward recovery. I ran my first half marathon in April of 2012. Dawn, who had to attend a family function and couldn’t be with me, cheered for me via text the whole race. Her support carried me to the finish line. I now offer 10k and half marathon training classes in addition to the 5k classes Dawn and I teach.
My 13.1 sticker on my car and one of my ½ marathon finisher’s medals
If you are interested in running—for fun, for exercise, for stress relief, etc—I highly encourage you to give the Couch to 5k program a try. There are apps for the phone to make training easier. Also, find a running partner or running group. Accountability helps keep you on the path to success.
Running can be a blast with the right people and the right costumes!
Couch to 5K website: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml
Couch to 5k app information (includes 10k and ½ marathon apps too): http://www.exerciseforpink.com/
Thanks again for having me on your blog, JQ! I hope your readers will be inspired to give running a try! J If you want to know more about me and my upcoming young adult epic high fantasy, The Prophecy, you can like me on FB (Erin Albert Books), follow me on Twitter (@ErinAlbertBooks), or subscribe to my blog (www.erinalbertbooks.com).
Erin Albert is a stay-at-home mother and fitness trainer. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing. Her favorite place to be is at home with her wonderful husband, energetic children, and easygoing tabby cat.